quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
[personal profile] quinara posting in [community profile] queerlygen
Title: Fish for the Blues
Creator: [personal profile] quinara
Universe: Final Fantasy IX
Type of work: 1600 word fanfic
Contains: A minor identity crisis.
Summary: Quina shares more of xyr knowledge after xyr adventuring-apprentice, Bobby Corwen, has a strange experience.
Notes: Set not that long after Stroper Stew. I blame [personal profile] angelikitten.

Fish for the Blues.

Sometimes on an adventure you needed a break from fighting monsters, and what better way to relax than to spend a day at the beach? So Quina thought anyway. After all, here on the Outer Continent the sun was always shining, so you needed some time in the water to cool you down. Quina loved paddling: sloshing xyr feet through the water and trying to catch the fish, even though they were slippery and usually escaped. Xe loved the way they went squirming into xyr stomach – almost as good as frogs!

Bobby Corwen didn’t like the water, because he couldn’t keep his footing in the waves, but he still loved the beach. The sand was softer than earth beneath his beak, so he could always make much deeper holes, which meant better treasure was to be found – and he loved treasure almost as much as food. He had a little bag all of his own filled with ore and peridots and Treasure Gil, that Quina had promised could be kept separate from Buying Things Gil.

This particular spot on the beach felt like a good one. It smelt right, and kept smelling better the more Bobby Corwen dug. And then – “Kweh!?” Bobby Corwen said out loud, as his beak hit something hard. He tapped it again. It didn’t feel like any sort of familiar treasure, but there was definitely something down there. Something hollow.

Splash! Over in the sea, Quina dived again, bodyslamming the waves and hopefully the fish swimming beneath them. Rolling to the side, feeling the coolness of the sea though no damp came through xyr gourmand’s outfit, xe looked where xe had just fallen. But, sadly, there were no fish squirming in the sand.


With a sigh, Quina stood up, brushed xemself down and skipped over to where Bobby Corwen was jumping by the hole he’d just dug. “What you find, Bobby Corwen?” xe asked.

“KWEH!” Bobby Corwen said again, pointing with his beak down into the hole. Whatever it was was glinting down in the sand; there was a shock of gold more golden than the grains around it, and a flash of red as well.

Quina wondered what it could be. “This adventure treasure?” xe asked xemself, then picked up xyr fork from where xe’d left it. Xe used it to scoop the sand away, the wide, curved tines making rivulets in the sand that slowly revealed more and more of the chest, for that was what it was. With his talons and beak, Bobby Corwen helped, and eventually they managed to clear the ground around it, allowing Quina to lean down and pull it out of the hole, tongue thudding against the lid.

It tasted of sand, which wasn’t surprising, but it also tasted of sparkly mystery. A bit like goblins, but without the aftertaste of mouldy cheese. Maybe xe should eat it…

“Kweh!” Bobby Corwen interrupted Quina’s thoughts, and the Qu shook xyr head, concentrating before opening the catch on the front of the chest, gold snicking over gold, and then lifting the lid.

At first it seemed like there was nothing inside, and their hearts sank to see the sumptuous blue satin protecting nothing. But then, slowly, they began to realise that they were both drifting into a deep, deep sleep.


Quina woke to the distressed cries of xyr friend – “Kweh! Kweh!” – but when xe stood up, rubbing xyr eyes free of sleep and sand, xe couldn’t see him anywhere. A sky blue chocobo was in his place, ruffling its wings and craning its neck over its shoulder as it danced in circle, apparently trying to look at itself.

“Bobby Corwen?” Quina asked, turning on the spot xemself as xe looked around the beach. The treasure chest was gone as well.

“Kweh!” the chocobo replied, and Quina looked at it more closely. It was tall and strong, with sturdier legs than Bobby Corwen, but its eyes were big and round and scared above its beak, the tuft of feathers between them as jaunty as a mage’s hat.

Bobby Corwen?” xe asked again, scarcely able to believe that this chocobo was xyr friend.

“Kweh…” Bobby Corwen replied, a little despondently. He’d had a horrible dream, where a big fat chocobo had told him that his home wasn’t the Black Mage Village, but somewhere far away, where Bobby Corwen had never been. He knew he was stronger now, and thought maybe he could run faster, but he didn’t like looking different. What if his parents didn’t recognise him when he made it home?

Quina watched as xyr friend kicked at the sand with his newly-sharpened talons, not knowing how to cheer him up. “No be sad,” xe said, picking up the fork that was still lying by xyr side. “Outside different now, but you still Bobby Corwen on the inside.”

“Kweh?” Bobby Corwen hoped it could be true.

“You always Bobby Corwen.” Quina nodded, feeling more sure of xemself the more xe spoke. Waggling xyr tongue, xe led them up the beach to their tent from the night before, throwing the fork inside and pulling out xyr bag of items. With a thud and a clank xe set it on the sand, loosening the cords and digging through it until xe found what xe was looking for, a gold circlet with a clasp and a short chain at the back. Xe held it up to the sun, showing off its four-leaf clover, cut from pale peridot and set into the front of the gold.

Bobby Corwen cooed. It was so beautiful.

“See this anklet, Bobby Corwen?” Quina said, turning it this way and that so it glinted even more beautifully. “Thing belong to Dagger, from adventure long time ago.”

Now Bobby Corwen was confused. “Kweh?” he asked, unsure whether or not he should know who Dagger was.

Quina smiled. “She called Queen Garnet now, but for adventure she called Dagger.”

“Kweh!” Queen Garnet had been an adventurer? Bobby Corwen couldn’t believe it, bouncing back in surprise, and then having to dig his heels in as he realised he was bigger than he remembered and was about to overbalance.

“She gave me anklet when left Alexandria,” Quina explained. “Told me, good luck adventuring, Quina! You take this; I no need it anymore. Help you against monsters. But keep it as memory too – you ever lost or need help? I come fight for you; I bring Zidane; I cure you. I be Dagger you knew again.” Xe held the anklet tightly, bringing it to xyr tongue and tasting the memory of the castle, the banquets xe once cooked there. Mmm, gysahl pickles…

Quina sighed. Xe missed xyr friends.

But, xe thought, returning the anklet to the bag, xe had a new friend now. So xe met Bobby Corwen’s eyes again and continued xyr explanation, “See, she always Dagger on the inside, even when she queen.” Xe nodded for emphasis, believing what xe said. “So you always Bobby Corwen, even when you blue chocobo.”

Bobby Corwen wanted to believe xem, but still couldn’t be sure. And he didn’t know how to reply, so turning away he wandered back down the beach to the water’s edge, a little ungainly on his new legs. Part of him wanted to see his reflection, he realised, but the water wasn’t calm enough. It wouldn’t show him his face, instead revealing the wavy ridges of dark yellow sand and the slight, quavering shadow of his head in front of the sun. There were fish as well, darting between clumps of seaweed.

Morosely Bobby Corwen darted his neck straight, piercing the water with his beak and clamping his mouth closed around a wriggling silver fish. With a gulp of salty water he swallowed it whole, savouring the crispness of its scales against his tongue. Oh, fish: they really did taste very delicious…

As the chocobo smacked his beak to enjoy all of the taste, Quina came to his side with the last few of xyr thundering steps. Xe told him, “Stand in the water, can reach lot more fish.”

Bobby Corwen looked down at his feet and the much wider and sturdier span his talons stretched. He’d never been able to stand in the water before, but now, maybe, it wouldn’t be too bad. Slowly he took a step forward, feeling the cooling waves lap against his leg, and then he took another step, moving steadily into the sea. There were more fish here, bigger ones that looked much more succulent.

For a moment he concentrated, choosing his prey, and then Bobby Corwen pounced, seizing a juicy, wobbly fish in his beak. This one took some chomping before he could swallow, but it made his stomach sing with happiness, the way his stomach had always sung when full of something good. It made him feel rather more like himself.

“You catch fish,” Quina called from the beach, watching happily as xyr friend began to romp through the shallows. “We have fish roly-poly for dinner; tomorrow…” Bobby Corwen turned around, another fish in his beak. “Look for sea monsters!”

“Kweh!” Bobby Corwen agreed, though it was muffled by the fish. Maybe he was ready for more adventuring after all; the Way of the Gourmand was calling. In fact, yes, Bobby Corwen thought, resetting his beak to keep the fish in place. If he ever saw the fat chocobo again, he would have questions to ask him, but for now? It was dinner time.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-02-22 06:19 am (UTC)
angelikitten: Lia and Fiona kissing (Love - I'm so excited)
From: [personal profile] angelikitten
This is the best thing I have ever woken up to. Ever!


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